Thanks to their rich buttery flavour, pecans became a common ingredient in appetizers, desserts, and main dishes. Unfortunately, although they boast a long list of essential nutrients, they're also high in calories and fat, causing many to wonder whether they're healthy.
According to research published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Pecans have more antioxidants than any other tree nut. According to the USDA, pecan nuts are among the top 15 foods with the most significant antioxidant content. They're also high in vitamins and minerals, including manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and selenium, which are beneficial to your health. Let's look at what makes pecans so good for you.
1. Heart Healthy
Pecan nuts are high in monounsaturated fats like oleic acid and phenolic antioxidants that aid with heart health. According to the National Pecan Shellers Association, including a handful of pecan nuts in your diet can help lower LDL, or bad cholesterol, levels.
It also encourages the production of healthy cholesterol, which is essential for preventing heart issues, including strokes, atherosclerosis, and coronary heart disease.
2. Promotes Weight Loss
The high proportion of fibre in these nuts can help you lose those few extra pounds. In addition, the fibre fills you up real quick, ensuring that you reach satiety faster and satisfy your urges.
The advantages don't stop there. These fatty acids can lower the quantity of Grehlin generated, which is the hormone that makes you feel hungry. Pecans also contain a little sugar, which is beneficial for managing blood sugar and insulin levels.
3. Boost Your Immunity
Pecans are also high in zinc, which is necessary for your immune system's proper functioning and strengthening. Individuals who consume a high-zinc diet have a decreased chance of developing a variety of ailments. Pecans have a complex composition that contains a range of minerals, vitamins, and fibre.
4. Improves Brain Function
Pecans are brimming with nutrients that may benefit brain function. For example, diets high in vitamin E have been linked with lowering the risk of Alzheimer's disease and dementia by up to 25%. In addition, vitamin E and other antioxidants in plant-based foods help reduce oxidative stress caused by inflammation, protecting cells and tissues of vital organs like your brain.
5. Rich in Antioxidants
Bursting with polyphenol antioxidants, particularly flavonoids, these nuts have been known to contain twice the flavonoid content compared to other nuts, such as cashews, almonds, or pistachios and almost 7 times when compared to walnuts. These properties make pecans the perfect partner for your breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Overall, pecans are loaded with important nutrients and can be an excellent addition to a healthy diet. However, be sure to pay attention to your portion sizes and stick to around 28 grams (1 ounce), or about 20 pecan halves, at a time.
Try sprinkling a handful of these tasty nuts onto your next yogurt parfait, salad, or oatmeal for extra crunch and nutrients. They also work well in trail mix or chopped up in baked goods like muffins, pancakes, or banana bread. Alternatively, enjoy raw pecans on their own for a quick, convenient, and nutritious on-the-go snack. You can grab a handful every morning or add these to your meals to ensure that you get your daily dose of these healthy nuts.
Pecans are one of the main ingredients in our Nutybite granola clusters. Besides nuts, they contain a blend of fruits, grains, nuts, and seeds. A sweet and delicious source of antioxidants, fibre, healthy vitamins, and minerals!